Embrace the “Cute Kitten Theory” of Wine

cutcatwineAs much as I like Rosé and as much as I like pretty pictures, I question this statement reported by Meininger’s Wine Business International recounting a seminar held recently at Vinisud 2017 in Montpellier:

“Social media has helped rosé skyrocket to fame and fortune.”

Master of Wine Sarah Abbot made the claim, going on to explain:

“America has the largest number of Instagram users in the world, with Russia second. There are over 60m Instagram users in the States and they share these images. French wine has the advantage on social media because everybody is tagging ‘rosé’ not ‘rosado.’ ‘Rosé’ is becoming the synonymous term for the style, in the “same way that Champagne became known as sparkling.”

Show me the metrics!!!

No doubt Rosé appears in a variety of Instagram feeds. But where are the states that link photos of Rosé showing up on Instagram (or any other social media platform) with increased Rosé sales?

What I also want to know is if there has been an increase in the number of cute cats in the world and an increase in perfectly composed plates of food. 

No one with a brain would dismiss the importance or impact of social media tools. However, there is an equal danger to marketing efforts to assume that social media tools and social media communication is the font of all success and the source of all change in a marketplace.

It comes back to something I’ve been asking of folks of late, whether the discussion is about politics, baseball history or wine marketing: Please be precise. Please consider embracing precision when speaking or writing. Blanket/broad statements are more commonly the source of confusion than clarity. 

We have zero idea of the impact that Rosé-related social media posts have had on the sales of Rosé. And we should say that. And that statement should lead us to ask, can we develop a way of tracking the macro-evolution of product categories based on the impact of social media?


One Response

  1. David Scheidt - February 3, 2017

    As there are three hashtags in Instagram entitled #rosé, #rose and #rose’, the top posts in each of these have nothing to do with wine. Just search instagram the hashtag “ros” and let the field populate. I would say the field is muddled with the term “rose” to mean lots of different things, not synonymous with French pink wine, far from it.

    #rosewine #roseallday #yeswayrose is another matter and while more specific to showing wine bottles of Rose and people having fun drinking Rose, it’s not a slam dunk.

    Search instead #cabernet and see what comes up.

    Rose and its alternative spellings are far from specific to the wine industry when related to Instagram; a cursory search could have told anyone that. I did it in 5 minutes.

    I agree with your premise Tom. No specificity and no data to back up the claim.


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